Perhaps my years long battle with 3D feathers has finally paid off...
My new quick and easy method seems to work perfectly fine on armour too. Okay easy yes, sadly the quick part gets taken out with rendering times.
Armour is requiring a few more layers than feathers. Though I may try multiple layers of feathers later to see if it helps them.
First I need a rough colour scheme. I opted for a bright coloured scheme as I see (grownup) Ankyies wanting to warn predators they're not to be messed with. I got this rough pattern by mixing together a few different snakes.
I tried to build initial armour into my standard skin texture. The results as you can see are wanting.
Lucky for me that was but one of many layers. As of layer 2 all is covered up.
This is all still just a texture.